How Can You Tell If You're Eating Healthy Soy or Soy That's Bad for You? Navigating the Dangers of Processed Food
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MELANIE WARNER: Oh, gosh, you know, I forget. It’s something—I’ve been meaning to look it up. It’s something—it’s another highly processed chemical that I had never heard of. And yeah, it’s worth looking—
AMY GOODMAN: I’m sure Sarah will be on it.
MELANIE WARNER: Yeah, it’s worth looking into that. But the point is—and the thing that Sarah discovered—is that it’s not used in other countries, specifically in Europe, and the companies find alternatives in other countries. The same is true of food dyes. It’s considered—food dyes, like Red 40 and Blue 1, you see on ingredient lists. They are considered to be linked to hyperactivity in children in Europe. And so, if you go to Europe, you see products that have warning labels on them indicating this. And actually, the food companies—there are not very many products in Europe that actually contain these ingredients, because food companies don’t want to put that kind of a warning label on their products. So they’re able to—they find alternatives. They use more natural food colorings.
AMY GOODMAN: Melanie, talk about extrusion machines.
MELANIE WARNER: Yeah, extrusion machines. This is—these are one of the—the type of machinery that the food industry uses that nobody has in their home kitchen. The closest thing you could compare it to is maybe a homemade pasta maker, but that’s a very far cry. These are highly efficient machines. They are—they have steel, really heavy screws inside them that turn, create enormous amount of pressure and what food scientists call "shear." And they’re very effective. You can put a whole bunch of ingredients into one side of an extruder, and it pops out, or extrudes, on the other side. There’s a die. You can have it in any kind of shape you want. You could have it for—shape of a—letters of the alphabet, like for alphabet cereal, or honeycombs. Or you could have it for Chicken McNuggets. And out on the other side pops a pretty much fully formed product. And one of the unfortunate thing about extruders is that they’re very good at efficiently making products—you can zip things in and out of there in a minute—but they are fairly damaging to nutrition, particularly certain vitamins and also sometimes—sometimes fiber.